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“I want to learn” – Nasrella’s wish to return to school

World Vision
6 February 2014 by Rhonda Hirst
“I want to learn” – Nasrella’s wish to return to school

Nasrella lives with his family in a tented settlement in Lebanon after fleeing Syria seven months ago. Photo by Nick Ralph, World Vision.

Nasrella is a sweet 10-year-old boy with a kind disposition. He is softly spoken with a warm smile. He’s shy, yet brave. He’s scared, but thankful – thankful to live in a tent in Lebanon’s Bekka Valley, as long as it’s far away from the bombs and shelling he witnessed back home in Syria.

This tented settlement has been Nasrella’s home for seven months. Since leaving Syria, Nasrella hasn’t been to school. “What do you do with your days?” I ask. “We play… we just play,” he answers. He has no toys. But he does have three friends and you can tell their bond is tight.

Back home, he had 11 close friends. One of these friends is here with him now. In my time in Lebanon and Jordan, I did not experience a community vibe like this one anywhere but here. “Only Hussein came with me from Syria,” he says. “What about your other friends?” I ask. “I don’t know where they are, I don’t know if they are ok – I don’t know anything about them.”

Nasrella is the apple of his mother’s eye. He’s the youngest, and back home in Syria had merit awards, which is he is shy to talk about yet also proud. “They gave me a merit award because I was smart and very good at school,” he says humbly. At school, he liked mathematics, specifically algebra. “I miss it so much, because I want to learn,” he says. It’s a story that’s all too common. “I want to teach little children.” He has the perfect demeanour to teach children. Despite all he has seen, he has such a gentle, kind manner. He smiles when he talks of his father, who he misses greatly. The family haven’t had contact with him in seven months, and they fear the worst.

Nasrella wants to be a teacher. But unfortunately, teachers need to have an education before they can teach others.  What stands out about this beautiful boy is his gratitude for what he does have, not what he doesn’t have. It’s simply remarkable. “I feel this place (tented settlement in Lebanon)  is better than the older one (home, in Syria), we live here in peace. We are away from the clashes.  I wouldn’t change a single thing about this tent.”

World Vision is supporting families like Nasrella’s in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Find out more about our Syrian Refugee Crisis Appeal.

Rhonda Hirst Rhonda Hirst

Rhonda Hirst is Emergency Marketing Manager at World Vision and is currently working in the Philippines for the first anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan.


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